He took Melissa's hand as they walked the Parisian streets in the fading light.
‘We have about two hours to kill. What d'you want to do with them?' he asked, glancing away from the sunset to Melissa.
‘Spend them with you,' Melissa smiled, unable to think of anything else to say.
‘Well, it's your dream to be here, it's only fair you choose.' He said as they walked.
‘And you make it that much sweeter.' She grinned, and laughed at how cheesy it sounded. Lazarus laughed with her. As they passed a pâtisserie Lazarus paused and looked back. He gazed at the pastries in the window and felt his stomach growl.
‘I wonder if those are as sweet as time spent with me?' he winked and pulled Melissa in.
‘Oh! I love cakes,' her grin only widened as he stared at the selection of sweet cakes and pastries behind the glass at the counter. She breathed in the sweet air as it breezed around them and watched Lazarus' eyes widen like a child presented with a year's supply of chocolate.
‘Parlez-vous anglais? Je ne parle pas encore très bien le français.' Lazarus said to the man behind the counter.
‘How may I help?' the man asked, his accent thick.
‘Great,' Lazarus straightened and pointed out some of the things behind the glass. ‘Two of those... two of those. Umm... two of those. And those.' The pâtissier quickly boxed every item Lazarus pointed out and looked up waiting for him to choose the next thing.
‘Is that all?' the man asked, raising an eyebrow as Lazarus kept looking.
‘Umm... Yeah, thanks.' He pulled out his wallet.
‘Twenty euro, s'il vous plaît.' The man said, tapping numbers on the till as he added up what Lazarus had asked for. Lazarus balked a little at the price, but handed over his card anyway. Melissa laughed.
‘Merci,' he muttered, taking the box from the man and his card. He shoved his card back into his wallet and unceremoniously ripped open the box, tucking into the sweet pastries the moment they were outside.
‘Hungry are we?' She smiled as he stuffed the pastries into his mouth. He paused a moment and looked up at her, his sugary fingers just in front of his lips. He simply nodded, not wanting to talk with his mouth full. She laughed and kissed his lips, taking the sugar off them. ‘I have a feeling you're really going to like living here.' She smiled. He licked his fingers and swallowed.
‘I'd enjoy living anywhere if it's with you, you know that,' he said, smiling.
‘Yeah, I know.' She giggled.
‘But I'm liking this area. As long as the wolf is controllable, it should be okay - there's not much in the way of a woods here is there?' he looked around them. It was a quiet town, clean and pretty. A bit of a tourist area, if anything, but at least that meant they wouldn't have to talk French all the time.
‘Well, if the apartment is big enough and you decide not to eat the couch again you can change there.' She smiled. ‘I just have to earn the trust of the wolf a little more.'
‘You should have it already.' He frowned, his fingers on a small cake, though he didn't lift it to his mouth. ‘I don't understand what happened.' She shrugged.
‘Maybe because of why you turned. That dream...' She lapsed into a thoughtful silence. Lazarus dropped the cake back in the box and closed the lid, wiping his fingers on his jeans.
‘How long do we have left?' Melissa asked.
‘Just under an hour.' He said, glancing at the estate of apartments to their right.
‘Well, we like the area. Just one more thing.' She said, following his gaze for a moment. They came to a low wall near the apartments and sat down. Lazarus placed the box next to him and leant forward so his elbows were resting on his knees.
‘Oh?' he asked, momentarily not understanding.
‘The apartment?' Melissa frowned
‘Right, yeah. Thought you meant something else then, sorry.' He straightened his arms out in front of him, elbows still on his knees. He clasped his hands and stared at his burn scars where his sleeves fell away. He pulled a face and buttoned his sleeves up.
‘Oh?' she asked, almost mimicking Lazarus.
'I don't know what; it just sounded like you were thinking about something else.' He shrugged as he finished with the buttons on one sleeve. He switched to the other sleeve and glanced at Melissa as he fumbled with it.
‘Ah...' She nodded. She smiled and kissed him firmly.
‘Maybe later?' she giggled. He waited a moment.
‘It's later now.' He grinned.
‘Don't we have a viewing?' she asked kissing him again. He nodded.
‘Yes but that doesn't mean you can change the subject.' He laughed, grabbed the cake box and got up, holding out his hand for her. She took his hand and stood with him.
‘I just did.' She stuck her tongue out jestingly and smiled. He growled at her with a mischievous grin.
‘We'll get back to it - I'm curious now.' He said, leading her towards the apartments slowly. She nodded and squeezed his hand comfortingly.
‘Sure.' She murmured. As they neared the apartment blocks, Lazarus saw the estate agent rep.
‘Bonsoir,' the rep said. Her suit was plain and she looked like a woman who didn't often enjoy her job.
‘Parlez-vous anglais?' Lazarus asked, praying they had sent someone that had a decent grip on the language.
‘Of course.' She said. ‘This way.' She led them into a building, and ushered them into an elevator. ‘The apartment is on the fifth floor. The elevators are regularly serviced and rarely do they break. The community spirit is very strong in these apartments.' She talked at them for a while until they reached their floor. She continued to talk as they walked to the door of the apartment. She unlocked it and told them to look around the rooms and if they had any questions, they were to ask her.
‘What d'ya think?' Lazarus asked as he stared at the wall in the living room, trying to work out if the TV and piano would fit along that one wall, or if the piano would have to go somewhere else.
‘It's nice and spacious.' She looked to him. ‘Do you like it?'
‘Mmm. Do you think the TV and the piano would fit on that one wall or should the piano go over there?' he asked pointing to the wall on his left near the door. She laughed.
‘I would take that as a yes.' She looked from wall to wall and smiled. ‘I think the piano should go over in the corner near the door.' He nodded in agreement, a thoughtful frown on his face as he imagined the furniture in place.
‘I thought so.' He looked at Melissa and grinned. ‘This one then?'
‘Yeah.' She grinned back. Lazarus turned to the rep and walked towards her.
‘Questions?' she asked.
‘Nope. We'll take it.' the rep glared at him, though his smile didn't falter.
‘It is not that simple Mr Thorn. There is another person interested-'
‘I'll pay... five thousand more than they are. Better?' the rep's glare became a look of shock. Melissa arched an eyebrow, but said nothing. ‘When can I have the papers for it?' he asked. The woman shook her head and led them back outside, telling them what they had to do the next day.
‘Au revoir, monsieur,' she said turning away from them.
‘Au revoir,' Lazarus said. ‘Well she was... nice.' He muttered. ‘Let's find a hotel for the day.'
‘Yeah...' She nodded, somewhat shocked. ‘Five thousand more?' she repeated. He bit his lip.
‘Sorry, I can call her tomorrow and tell her we found something else if you like. Guess I got carried away again.' He chuckled uneasily.
‘No it's fine... just... Oh never mind.' She giggled. ‘Let's just go find a hotel.'
‘You sure?' he asked as they walked in the direction of the small hotel they had seen on the way into the town.
‘Yeah. You have thirty six million; do with it what you want.' He nodded slowly.
‘So,' he starts with a curious smile and glance, ‘what was on your mind earlier?'